4 Reasons Online Courses Fail, and How to Create One That Sells

April 16, 2018

Dearest Subscriber,



Thank you for your interest in building an abundant practice online!


In today's video, I wanted to respond to a great question from our membership:

"I am interested in the program, but I don't know what kind of course I would want to create?"

If this is something you have been wondering, this is a great video for you to watch.


Often it is not a lack of ideas, but a flood of ideas that leaves you feeling stymied and overwhelmed by the possibilities.


In THE ABUNDANT HEALER: 90 DAYS TO SCALE YOUR PRACTICE ONLINE, we tackle this question IN DEPTH in the first 30 days for our program.

As an extension, it is also important to look at why online courses don’t succeed. And it’s not because you don’t start out with the “perfect” course idea, with the best information or greatest “expertise.”

To my mind, there are four reasons online courses don't succeed...

1. There is a lack of focus
2. There is no marketing strategy
3. Lack of context
4. You don't verify with your audience


So let's explore these issues...


A Lack of Focus
You don’t know where to begin with what KIND of content you want to provide, and in what combination; Videos?Articles? Lectures? Tutorials and Demonstrations? Live coaching? You don’t know how to price it or position it in your market. You’re also not confident in your “right” to talk about these things, because, after all, you are NOT an "expert," right?  So the total package feels taped together, unfinished, unsure, and lacking in focus or direction.


No Marketing Strategy

Let’s say you spend a lot of time and effort building a juicy, content-rich curriculum, and... NO ONE buys it. 


Either because you don’t have a substantial email list, you didn’t do a proper email launch sequence, you don’t have a solid, proven marketing strategy, or your online persona just isn’t developed enough that it strikes a cord with your target audience, your SOUL clients. 


The worst thing that happens is you assume its the quality of your INFORMATION, so you shift your focus and expend all that time, energy and effort  AGAIN to make something completely new, based on what you THINK people want, and the same thing happens...your website officially becomes a graveyard. 


And a lot of people, give up here.


Lack of Context

One major reason why your course might not get enough attention, is because the way it is structured ; the way you are selling it lacks a sense of context for your potential clients.


The information you provide might be rich, well researched, and cutting edge, but it lacks a sense of spirit and the proper framework…it might be great information, but your clients have no idea how it applies to THEM. 


Verify With Your Audience

A lot of new online entrepreneurs feel like they have to have their course material ready-made when they start building their online audiences, and this just simply isn't true. All you need is a general idea of what you would like to offer, but be crystal clear on WHO you want to offer it to--your SOUL CLIENTS.


Once you start collecting them into your private Facebook group, which is constructed around a mission statement that sings straight from your heart, you can begin to verify your ideas directly with your soon-to-be paying clients.


You can do this through polls, challenges, live stream Q & A's in the feed, and even just by asking them questions upon entry into the group. I have actually found when I build my content as I go, its a lot richer and better received. 


How to Create a Course that Sells

Now, the internet is  called “the information market” for a reason. To sell something successfully, it has to really stand out as being MORE than just another bit of information. You might advertise an amazing course with a great title and description, but someone could then just plug that into a google search and find a free version of it on youtube.


My grandmother used to say, "There is nothing new under the sun." So the question then becomes, what will YOUR course deliver that makes it worth the money? HOW is it different than that free five minute video?


Right now, I want you to get rid of this idea that  you have to have the best, new, most cutting edge information out there.


Don’t aim to sell information. Sell transformation. Transformation is what allows you clients to see the impact of what you have to offer in the larger scheme of things, and it puts things into context. 


Ever read or hear about a stage theory? Who doesn’t love a stage theory? It tells you where you are, where you’ve been, and where you want to go. It tells you want to expect and it normalizes what otherwise might cause you anxiety. For your clients, you need to identify where they are in their journey, as it pertains to your course topic. And you need to identify WHERE on this journey, YOU COME IN and help them get to the next stage. 


If you are a therapist, coach and/or healer and you are interested in attracting more clients, increasing your cash flow, and expanding your influence online, check out these 7 questions to help you to determine which of the 4 phases of The Abundant Journey you may be in, and your next steps.


Take the quiz: http://bit.ly/TheAbundantJourney



In love and abundance, 










Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT

Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist

Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner



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